Solved: Graphics Card Comparison

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lisakmusco

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Let's assume I am deciding among these three ATI X1650 cards.

http://apps.ati.com/ATIcompare/result.asp

Disregarding the fact that one is AGP and the other two are PCI-Express, which would you suggest and why? I see a few differences in speeds, and memory and such, but am not sure which spec I should value more. This card would be in a system that largely plays games like RCT3, D&D, SimCity, etc. and would have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200 CPU.
 

lisakmusco

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Well, since nobody seems to want to weigh in on these cards.... could someone maybe point me to a better explanation of the different specs involved so I can decide for myself which I prefer (such as memory clock speed vs. engine speed)? ATI only explains some of them -- their own technology.
 
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lisakmusco said:
Well, since nobody seems to want to weigh in on these cards.... could someone maybe point me to a better explanation of the different specs involved so I can decide for myself which I prefer (such as memory clock speed vs. engine speed)? ATI only explains some of them -- their own technology.
Your link is only good from your PC. Kill your cookies and you will see what I mean.

For gaming a 1600 series card isn't what I would be looking at. In that price range the geforce 7600 series is much better. Hell, I'll sell you my cards if the price is right. ;)

Really though, until you pass the 7600/1600 range Nvidia is better. The 1800/7800 range and up ATI kicks it until you get to the Nvidia 8000 series. Cards are hard to buy. Study, read reviews, do comparisons and hope for the best.

I always seem to do well but I never buy "new" tech. Let the stuff set a month or two and you can get a deal. I am willing to bet that by mid summer you will be able to buy an 8800GTX for about $450. They are about $650 as I type.
 

lisakmusco

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oops - sorry about that. I thought that link would work since it wasn't a secure shopping cart or anything like that (made that mistake on another thread).
The two links provided by wilson and lee helped some...but not totally.
The Tom's Hardware site seems to rank the X1650 as being one of the best -- tied with that gforce 7600 skivvywaver mentioned, so I still think I will go with one of them. It is a little bothersome though, that that site (Tom's Hardware) refers to the price for that card being much less than I am finding the card for sale anywhere. In fact, it refers to each category as less than I can find them for.
So now I just need to decide between the XT and the PRO -- which leads me back to my initial question about the different specs. In the places where they differ, which spec(s) do I want to be better?
 

lisakmusco

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Thanks Triple, but neither card I'm considering is in the list of choices, and none of the game choices are anything that we play.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Its got the X1600's, the X1650 Pro and Turbo's - all of them are grouped together in the middle of the pack with current games. The 7600's are also present and generally do a little better. The small clock differences between the Pro and XT versions result in small performance gains.

Comparing numbers from NVidia's line to ATI's line isn't useful, the way the two design their cards is completely different. Even comparing plain speeds between cards of similar model numbers isn't effective.
 

lisakmusco

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So which would you choose....... the XT or the PRO?

I don't know if this helps or not, but I can tell you this: with the existing ATI 9550 hubby is always complaining about slight stutters in performance in games like RCT3 when parks get large or riding rides. I have definitely decided on staying with ATI however, because they do seem to be involved/partnered in the games hubby plays, like RCT3 (do you sense a theme, here?), and there seem to be more issues with those games and the nvidia cards. I do realize, though, that some of that is the game, and not just our hardware, but I want to make the wisest choice I can.
 

lisakmusco

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Thanks Triple.

Though again, this raises a new question. I see the one you linked has 256MB of DDR3 memory. I had been looking at another with 512MB of DDR2 memory. Is it better to have less of the newer memory, or more of the older?
 

lisakmusco

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Well, again, I think I answered for myself. I compared the two side-by-side on the newegg site and I see that the one you suggested, Triple, is definitely better. So, it looks like I am finally ready to place my orders.

Unless you see something wrong with my choices, I'm going to order the following:
MSI K9VGM-V with AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ [bundle]
1 GB Crucial DDR2 667 memory (2 sticks of 512)
Sapphire Radeon X1650PRO 256MB PCI-Express

Thanks to everyone for their advice and input. Hopefully I will soon be rid of that PIII 600!
 

Triple6

Rob
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Seems OK, however some people say its better to get 800MHz DDR2 with the new AM2 processors - 667Mhz works just fine but the 800Mhz memory makes up for the higher latencies of DDR2 over DDR. Again its just a small performance difference.
 
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